Commonwealth Press Union Media Trust Presents The 2017 Astor Award To The Pakistan Press Foundation

The Commonwealth Press Union Media Trust (CPU) has presented the annual Astor Award to the Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF). The Astor Award – first made in 1970 – is one of the oldest and most prestigious media awards in the world and is presented to an individual or organisation that has made an outstanding contribution to the Commonwealth newspaper industry and in particular fighting for press and media freedom. Last year’s winner was the Human Rights Network for Journalists in Uganda. Lord Black of Brentwood, Chairman of the CPU Media Trust said: “We…Read more

Kenya seeks to restrict political commentary on social media ahead of elections

Kenyan authorities should ensure that proposed social media guidelines do not prevent journalists from reporting critically or close the space for public debate ahead of general elections due to take place August 8, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Two government bodies--the Communications Authority, which has regulatory oversight in broadcasting and telecommunications, and the National Cohesion and Integration Commission, which promotes national unity--are reviewing the results of a public consultation on draft guidelines that they proposed to prevent the spread of inflammatory content and hate speech on messaging and social media platforms.…Read more

Pakistani journalist taken from home in Balochistan

Authorities in Pakistan should do everything in their power to ensure the swift release of Zafar Achakzai, a journalist for the newspaper Daily Qudrat, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Men in civilian clothes on June 25 took Achakzai, a senior reporter at the Urdu-language newspaper Daily Qudrat, from his home in Quetta, in Pakistan's restive western province of Balochistan, according to local media and Naimat Achakzai, who is the editor of Daily Qudrat and Zafar's father. Naimat Achakzai told CPJ that the Frontier Corps, a paramilitary force organized by the federal…Read more

Pakistan: Journalist arrested for posting critical posts on Facebook

This statement was originally published on pakistanpressfoundation.org on 30 June 2017. Pakistan's Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on June 29, 2017 charged Zafar Achakzai, a journalist working for Daily Qudrat in the city of Quetta, under the Pakistan Electronic Crimes Act (PECA) 2016. Local journalists believe Achakzai was arrested for comments he had posted on Facebook criticizing security agencies and the arrest of Majeed Khan Achakzai, a member of the provincial assembly, for killing a traffic police constable in a hit and run car accident. Earlier, on June 25 paramilitary Frontier Corps raided Achakzai's…Read more

Tanzania imposes two-year publishing ban on newspaper

Tanzania should immediately revoke a publishing ban on Mawio, a privately owned weekly newspaper, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Tanzania's Information, Sports and Culture minister Harrison Mwakyembe imposed a 24-month ban on Mawio's print editions and any articles posted online yesterday over articles that mentioned two retired presidents, Benjamin Mkapa and Jakaya Kikwete, in reports on a government investigation into allegations of misconduct in the mining sector, according to a statement released by the director of Information Services, Hassan Abbasi. The statement, viewed by CPJ, accused Mawio of contravening a state…Read more

Pakistani journalist murdered in Haripur

Pakistani authorities should swiftly and credibly investigate the murder of Bakhsheesh Elahi and swiftly bring all those responsible to justice, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Elahi, the Haripur bureau chief for the daily newspaper K2, was fatally shot in Haripur, about 80km (50 miles) north of Islamabad, on June 11, according to police, news reports, and his employer. Elahi was on his way to work when unknown assailants on a motorcycle shot him repeatedly, Shuraiz Khan, of the Haripur police department, told CPJ. The Pakistani daily newspaper Dawn reported that Elahi…Read more

Pakistan: Car rams into journalist who covers religious minorities

Rana Tanveer, a Lahore-based reporter for the English language newspaper, The Express Tribune, suffered a broken leg after a car rammed into him on June 9, 2017. He had been receiving death threats from unidentified people for covering stories about religious minorities in Pakistan. Tanveer told Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) that on May 30, when he came out of his home to go to the office, he saw that a death threat had been written on his door. Although Tanveer had received threats earlier dating back to 2013, the latest threats terrified his…Read more

Royal Media group journalist Emmanuel Namisi threatened, assaulted in Kenya

Kenyan authorities should credibly investigate and swiftly bring to justice those responsible for attacking and threatening Emmanuel Namisi, a broadcast journalist for the Royal Media group, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Namisi told CPJ that men he identified as bodyguards of Kenneth Lusaka, governor of the western Kenyan county of Bungoma, threatened him and assaulted him at a Bungoma club on the night of June 5, 2017. He said the men were angry at a story he had written alleging they played a role in the death of a woman at…Read more

Tonga wrongful dismissal case will clarify role of public broadcaster

A wrongful dismissal complaint being brought against the government of Tonga by the sacked General Manager of the national broadcaster will help to educate the public and politicians on the independent public-interest role of national broadcasters, says regional media watchdog the Pacific Freedom Forum, PFF. The online network of working Pacific journalists and media practitioners has expressed alarm and concern on increasing threats to media independence in Tonga especially the national broadcaster, the Tonga Broadcasting Corporation. Their fears are that 'inaccurate and highly personal views on the public-service mandate of public broadcasters' aired…Read more

UK Labour manifesto plans ‘inconsistent with press freedom’

Press regulation plans set out in the Labour Party’s leaked manifesto are inconsistent with the principles of press freedom, the Society of Editors has warned. The manifesto, leaked to a number of news organisations this week, reaffirms the party’s commitment to “implement the recommendations” made in part 1 of the Leveson Inquiry and to begin part 2 of the inquiry into relationships between the police and the media and corporate governance. The recommendations of the Leveson Inquiry led to a cross-party agreement to pass into law Section 40 of the Crime and Courts…Read more